'Sleepwalking' ex-Hollyoaks Newport actor jailed for party rape of girl, 15
9:40am Tuesday 26th February 2013 in Gwent news
A FORMER Hollyoaks actor who raped a 15-year-old girl and blamed a condition called sexsomnia was jailed for eight years yesterday.
Simon Morris, 43, attacked the girl after a house party to which they had both been invited – he claimed he had sex with her in his sleep and had no recollection of the incident.
The victim came to the party in Newport in 2011 after Morris had already arrived.
Judge Daniel Williams said: “With her father a short distance away, you chatted her up, invited her to stay in London and boasted about your career in acting.”
She got drunk and had to be put to bed by her father, which is when Morris, who had not met the girl before that night, went to check on her and moved her to another bed, where the attack took place.
Cardiff Crown Court heard yesterday that he sexually assaulted her as she slept and raped her as she awoke, only stopping when he was disturbed.
Judge Williams said: “You then deployed your acting skills, headed back to your room and made as if collapsed through drink.”
The former actor, who is originally from Newport and went to Duffryn High School, has appeared in Michael Caine film Shiner, TV soap Hollyoaks and on the West End stage.
He denied rape and sexual assault but was found guilty after a trial in December.
The jury heard he had history of sleep-walking, checking his phone, gyrating against door frames and having sex with partners in his sleep.
Defending Morris, of Rush Hill Road, London, Lisa Marie Wilding said 17 references from friends, family and colleagues described him as “kind, generous and a man of integrity”.
She said the sex attack was opportunistic and one for which Morris was deeply sorry, but Judge Williams said he did not accept that he was remorseful, nor that he did not remember attacking the girl.
The victim was described by the judge as being incapable through drink and vulnerable, and the attack left her feeling insecure and isolated.
Morris was jailed for eight years for rape and five years for sexual assault, to be served concurrently.
He was given a sexual offences prevention order, must sign the sex offenders’ register and was banned from working with children.